Property management in Selma, Texas and the areas surrounding San Antonio can be an excellent investment, but there are several things to consider to make that investment successful. Whether you’re a seasoned landlord or this is your first foray into managing a property it’s important to keep in mind that renting a home is a business and should be handled professionally. The tips can help your business grow and thrive on your own, but they’re also a great set of parameters for selecting a professional property management company.
Setting Rental Rates
Selma, Texas is a great place to start your property management adventure. Homes are relatively inexpensive and renting versus owning is on the rise. Right now, most of the US is considered a “landlord’s market,” meaning you will have the pick of the litter when it comes to owning a great property and land reliable tenants that are willing to pay top dollar.
However, even in this climate, you have to be careful about setting your rental rates. Here are some key factors you must consider before setting your price:
- Can you cover your mortgage, taxes, and expenses? This is an interesting question because sometimes the answer is “no” and that’s okay. Ideally, you want to cover these things so that your home is profitable, but if your rent prices you out of your local market, your property will sit vacant. You have to remember that investment is long term, not a quick buck, and many small businesses take some time to turn an actual profit.
- Conducting a Market Analysis: To see your home remain occupied long term, you have to know what the average rental rates are in your area. A lot of information goes into this analysis.
- Comps – properties that are comparable to yours in size and value
- Cost of living in your area
- Limits in your city/state as to what you can charge – some areas have rent control policies
- Average price per square foot in your area
- Adjust for amenities – view, washer/dryer in unit, dishwasher, old vs. new construction
As you can see, setting a rental rate isn’t an easy task and involves a lot of research. A professional property manager like Real Property Management Campanas, however, will already have all the resources available. The team members at Real Property Management pride themselves on being experts in the local areas and will have this market analysis ready to go for you.
Once you’ve set your rental rate, it’s time to start screening tenants. You might end up with a problematic renter from time to time, but if you put a lot of effort into your process, you can mostly avoid those tenants. The screening process itself can be tough to navigate. You could be found liable for violating stringent anti-discrimination laws if you’re not careful. Even the most well-intentioned and open-minded landlords can find themselves in hot water.
The most important thing to remember is that the potential tenant should truly be evaluated on their ability to pay rent on time. From there you’ll want to research the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and other legal rights of tenants.
If this seems overwhelming, a property manager can help with screening as well. A quality professional management team will know these laws inside and out and will have a sound process for weeding out bad renters without discrimination.
Application and Leasing Documents
In the past few years, the internet has become an excellent resource for landlords with tips like this very article, but you have to be wary when it comes to legal forms. Many single property managers in Selma, Texas and throughout the country don’t have the legal background necessary to spot a good document template from a bad one, and most documents online don’t have the specifics for your city, county, or state.
If determined to manage your property personally, you’ll most likely need to contact a lawyer, so your contract is valid. Hiring a lawyer can be costly, but an invalid contract could end up ruining your investment.
Of course, a professional property management team like Real Property Management will have these at the ready. They will be able to adapt these documents to your needs and ensure the documents are legally binding.
A Professional Landlord Is a Good Landlord
Now that your tenant has signed the lease the real work begins. It’s easy to get to know and become friends with a renter when you manage a single-family property but beware that you don’t befriend them. Though it may seem heartless to keep your distance, it ultimately works out in your favor and theirs.
Setting expectations and following through is, in fact, healthier for the relationship between landlord and renter because of the money and asset (your property) involved. Become too friendly with a tenant, and rent payments begin to slide, and you may become sloppy with keeping track of paperwork.
At worst, this trend continues, and late payments turn into no payments and grounds for eviction. But, you’ve gotten yourself stuck. You may have set a precedent that allowed for the tenant to pay late or not pay at all, and the eviction process is quite lengthy and requires legal counsel.
If you feel like you’re not able to keep a professional relationship with a tenant – collecting rent on time, going through an eviction process, etc. – you may want to consider hiring a professional property manager like Real Property Management.
At Real Property Management, our priority is ensuring the success in your investment. This priority then feeds into professionally handled marketing, tenant screening, legal documentation, rent collection, maintenance, and if need be, evictions. Contact us today to get a free consultation to see how we can help your business grow!